Finding it hard to let go

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 29 Apr 2006

MIRI: It is a nerve-wrecking time for incumbent state assemblymen in Sarawak who know they will not be re-nominated to contest in the coming state elections. 

These wakil rakyat who are about to face the axe and, perhaps, kiss their political careers goodbye are finding it hard to let go. 

Their political ambitions are still burning strongly – to serve the people and continue enjoying the perks of their office. 

So, now they are desperately lobbying to get into the list of candidates. 

In the past, some of those who were dropped had been known to cry their eyes out in the office of their party presidents. 

The current incumbents who are likely to be dropped have not stooped to tears but know they have very little time before state Barisan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud finalises the list. 

This list will be submitted to Prime Minister and national Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for approval. Nomination is on May 9. 

Two of those in a precarious position are incumbent state assemblyman for Belaga, Stanley Ajang, and assemblyman for Ngemah, Gabriel Adit, who are former strongmen of the now-deregistered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS). 

Ajang and Adit joined Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) after the collapse of PBDS, which was a Barisan component before its fall. 

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), formed by a group of former PBDS leaders led by Datuk Seri Dr James Masing, have now laid claim to Belaga and Ngemah and PRS is slated to contest the two seats. 

It is learnt that Ajang and Adit are now in Kuala Lumpur to plead their case with the Prime Minister in a last ditch effort to be re-nominated for Belaga and Ngemah, after exhausting all available avenues in Sarawak. 

“It is not known whether they have managed to meet Pak Lah. It is understood that Pak Lah is very busy,” said a source. 

Many in Belaga still want Ajang to contest under the SPDP-Barisan ticket and might vent their anger against the Barisan come polling day by voting for any Barisan opponent if Ajang was not re-nominated, a political observer said. 

But PRS has already gone to the ground to try to pacify these disgruntled people. 

Another nervous incumbent Barisan assemblyman in northern Sarawak went as far as to ask his electorate to pity him and urged them to lobby any available minister to help him get re-nominated.  

He has also asked reporters to help highlight his ‘achievements’ so that Barisan leaders in Kuching will notice him.  

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